Your First Visit
LITTLE PEOPLE’S DENTAL is committed to providing a positive, preventive dental home for your child.
A child’s preparation for a dental visit begins long before a dental office is ever selected. It begins from the time that the child begins learning about oral health from their parents, siblings, and others around them. Because the attitudes of those around them will help form the child’s initial perception of their dental experience; parents need to “Keep it positive.” Some parent tips for creating positive preventive dental experiences for their children are:
- Start now. The American Dental Association recommends that children be seen at one year or the eruption of their first tooth. The earlier the visits, the better the chance of preventing dental problems. Prevention is the least invasive form of dental treatment and the most economical.
- Choose a child friendly office.
- Well-rested children are less prone to anxiety so make sure they get a good night’s sleep. Also select an appointment time when your child is alert and rested.
- Try to make the first dental visit a fun adventure for your child.
- Explain before the visit that the dentist is a friend and will help your child keep his teeth healthy.
- Answer all of your child’s questions positively (Keep and ear out for scary stories from peers and siblings).
- Don’t let your child know of any anxiety you may have about dental visits. Aside from conversation, your tone of voice and body language can convey your anxiety.
- Be mindful of how you conduct yourself before and during the visit, as this can have an impact as well.
- Be careful about using scary words. Check-ups and 90% of first visits do not have anything to do with “hurt,” so do not even use the word. (i.e.; do not make comments like, “Don’t worry the doctor won’t hurt you.”) It is best to rely on the dentist to convey information about upcoming procedures.
- Give center stage to the dentist or assistant working with your child. If the dentist or assistant does most of the talking then your child will build a better relationship with them.
A visit to the dentist should be viewed as normal and not something requiring extra bravery or special rewards or bribes. Similarly, please avoid using a dental visit as a threat. Remember, your aim as a parent and ours as pediatric dentists are the same – to make the process of dental care a pleasant one for your child!
What To Expect At First Dental Visits
It is best to schedule your child’s first “well baby” dental visit upon eruption of first tooth or when children have reached 12 months of age. At the first visit, a health questionnaire and patient information form will be completed. We will often examine young and or small, non-cooperative children laying back on a parent or caregiver’s lap in what is described as a “knee-to-knee” examination. During the first visit, Dr. Stewart will examine your child’s mouth and jaws to assess their overall oral health and get an indication of how the teeth are forming. Dr. Stewart will explain any problems that may exist and the dental care (both in our office and at home) needed to treat and prevent problems. We will teach you how to prevent dental decay in your child’s mouth. Dr. Stewart encourages you to ask as many questions as you like at this time. Your child’s teeth will be cleaned and x-rays, if possible and necessary, will be taken. Topical fluoride will be applied. Further treatment may occur at this visit or at a follow-up visit.